Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Glaxo Agrees to Pay $3 Billion in Fraud Settlement

By Katie Thomas and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times

In the largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company, the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $3 billion in fines for promoting its best-selling antidepressants for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a top diabetes drug, federal prosecutors announced Monday. The agreement also includes civil penalties for improper marketing of a half-dozen other drugs.

The fine against GlaxoSmithKline over Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia and the other drugs makes this year a record for money recovered by the federal government under its so-called whistle-blower law, according to a group that tracks such numbers.

In May, Abbott Laboratories settled for $1.6 billion over its marketing of the antipsychotic drug Depakote. And an agreement with Johnson & Johnson that could result in a fine of as much as $2 billion is said to be imminent over its off-label promotion of another antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.

Read the entire article here.

U.S. Adds Forces in Persian Gulf, a Signal to Iran

By Thom Shanker, Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.

The deployments are part of a long-planned effort to bolster the American military presence in the gulf region, in part to reassure Israel that in dealing with Iran, as one senior administration official put it last week, “When the president says there are other options on the table beyond negotiations, he means it.”

But at a moment that the United States and its allies are beginning to enforce a much broader embargo on Iran’s oil exports, meant to force the country to take seriously the negotiations over sharply limiting its nuclear program, the buildup carries significant risks, including that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps could decide to lash out against the increased presence.

Read the entire article here.